Your eyes are essentially covered by the cornea, a transparent layer that protects the inner eye from dust, bacteria, and scratches. Tear glands above the cornea typically keep this tissue well lubricated, allowing the eye to stay moist and functional. Lack of enough tears can cause a condition called dry eye where the surface of the cornea stops being well-lubricated.
Symptoms of dry eye include stinging, pain, and redness in the eyes along with excessive tearing that follows periods of dryness. Here is a look at several tips to help prevent and manage dry eye and the overall health of the cornea.
Keep your eyes clean
Maintaining good eyelid hygiene is essential to reducing the symptoms of dry eye. The first way to do this is to use warm compresses around the eye so as to improve the flow of tears and oils to the cornea. Dip an eye pad in warm water and gently massage it around your eyes. This essentially makes the tear glands around your eyes runny, helping to combat dryness.
You can also use eye-cleaning solutions to remove dust and grime on your cornea or rub a finger over your closed eyelids to increase tearing and clean out the cornea.
Keep your eyes hydrated and well rested
When reading or working on your computer, habitually give your eyes a break by closing them periodically and then blink repeatedly to spread tears evenly over the cornea and reduce dryness. You should also position your computer screen beneath your eye level so you don't have to strain your eyes or open them as wide, which can potentially increase evaporation from the cornea.
To reduce eye dryness, try to use a humidifier in your room to moisten the surrounding. Be sure to also avoid directing hair dryers, fans or car heaters toward your eyes so as to avoid drying out excessive moisture from your eyes. Finally, consider using eye drops to help keep your eyes moist and reduce your symptoms.
Use specialized eyewear
Your eye doctor can recommend the use of moisture chamber spectacles, which are essentially specialized eyewear that wrap the eyes like googles to protect the cornea from excess evaporation, especially in extremely dry environments. Safety shields can also be fitted to your sunglasses to block out dry air and wind, helping to keep your eyes moist.
Dry eye syndrome can be irritating and painful, affecting your vision and overall eye health. If you have chronic dryness, consider scheduling an eye examination for professional treatment. For more information, contact local professionals like Kolberg Ocular Supplies, INC.